Speed run of Castlevania: Curse of Darkness in 20 segments completed on March 2 2006. Available in four versions: low quality, normal quality, and 60fps high/insane quality.
This run was actually delayed by a couple months due to general boredom of the game. I had made it to the 2nd Isaac fight before I back-burnered it.
The fastest method of travel is to use Quick Steps - but only after I have Double Step. There's too long of a pause after doing a Quick Step without Double Step, and that same pause exists after a Double Step. You'll notice that I mess up and end up with Double Steps at times when I don't mean to...it's actualy harder than it looks to always time it right so I don't end up Double Stepping but am still able to keep up a nice momentum.
In terms of weaponry, I chose 1 handed axe types for the most part, since they tend to be the strongest of the "small" type weapons, and the 2 hit + finisher can score 5 hits, and has some range to it. I switched back and forth to the Chauve-souris once I had the materials for it, depending on the situation.
My ID of choice was the Battle-type. His passive STR bonus was good enough, but he also deals great damage when utilized properly. I evolved him to a Speed Mail, then a Rasetz. The Golem side of the tree is too weak (mostly Golem) and a bit slower as well. Speed Mail attacks fast and has nice Chain Attacks as well. The reason I went for Rasetz over Corpsey (other than the fact that I used axes a lot) is that Corpseys ATT and MAG stats have horrible growth, whereas Rasetz's ATT stat isn't too bad. Plus, Bone Storm is Dark Elemental, which all bosses after the point it evolved are resistant to.
I tend to leave my IDs guarding if when running through rooms/hallways. This is to prevent unnecessary damage for the most part.
There's quite a few areas that could be better optimized...most of which deal with flying enemies. I should have been using the Mage ID (Time Stop) more often.
Not really all that much action here...this castle is more like a semi-long tutorial than anything else really.
I used a Memorial Ticket to get back downstairs after getting the Fairy ID, and skipped all side rooms / unnecessary fighting.
All the required fight rooms went fairly well, although those Skeleton Blazes can be annoying by just moving too damned much.
I also crafted a Gano, a Soft Leather Armor, and a Leather Helm with the Bronze and Wild Memories I had been picking up.
This fight went quite well, except for that second Head Smash he did...I've never seen him use that twice in a row, so it caught me off guard.
The trick to this fight is to always dodge clockwise, so I'm to Crazy Armor's right...he can't seem to hit me there.
For the second part, just slash away and dodge whenever convenient. Taking hits isn't a big deal or anything really.
Ditched the Fairy ID for the Battle ID right at the start.
I sidetracked to get the Perfect Guard skill, and also the Boiling Ring. Perfect Guard is pretty much a requirement for any sort of speed run, and the Boiling Ring reduces damage from Fire - which is an element that quite a few bosses utilize.
The only thing that I didn't like that much was when my ID hit the 2nd Wizard I was trying to steal a Memorial Ticket from...though it didn't cost me too much time.
Aside from the 2 Memorial Tickets I stole, I also crafted some Hard Leather Armor from the Jet Black, and a Corinthian Helmet from a piece of Aluminum.
The Battle ID is almost useless in this fight. Other than a couple Aura Blasts when it has it's head buried in the ground, I pretty much leave it on guard mode. The problem is that it has trouble hitting Wyvern's head with it's normal attacks.
The main trick here is to not allow the Wyvern to start flying around the room. When he buries his head the first time I just ignore it and keep pounding away. When he does it the 2nd time, I jump on it's ack and hammer away while he flies.
All of the required fights here went extremely well.
I needed one of the Bone Soldiers at the beginning to drop a Steel so I could make a Mace...which is a decent bit more powerful than anything else I can make at the time.
I also needed to steal a Holy Man's Vein from a Dead Fencer, and a Spirit of Fuji from a Lesser Demon for later use. That, and I needed the Dead Fencer to drop a Knight's Vein so I could make a Gallic Helmet.
I didn't notice any speed increase by using my ID for this fight. I think this fight only requires Hector to connect (do damage) a certain number of times, and that the ID's hits don't count.
Either way, it's a pretty easy fight...just Guard / Perfect Guard and attack until he submits.
I used the Magical Ticket I picked up outside Julia's Shop to warp me back there after getting Brute Force Lv1.
Most of the fights here went well...except for one. That last room with the Frost Dragons...that last Dragon just wouldn't cooperate.
That room with all the Blaze Masters is odd...my ID doesn't follow well down the stairs, so he ends up lagging behind. That's why I just ran past all the enemies to the other door - to give him time to catch up.
I stole 2 Aquamarines from Fishmen for later use, and also made a Lemellar from some Steel the Bone Soldiers dropped.
I don't like this fight. Skeleton Diver can choose to spend long periods of time in places where I can't hit him. Moreso when he's low on HP.
When he first lands, I have my ID help double team him...he can't guard from his backside, so I was trying to stay back there as much as possible. When the Fish flops onto the platform, I can smack it as well...which is actually an easier target.
I had my ID guard once his HP dropped to a point where he ran the risk of dying. If he died, I'd lose a decent chunk of damage from the STR bonus he gives.
FOREST OF JIGRAMUNT
I grabbed the Spirit of Fuji and the Bird ID, then used a Memorial Ticket to save a little walking.
First thing, I stole 2 Ceremonial Tools from the Vessagos - for later use of course.
I also stole a Carbon Steel from the Great Armor so I could make a Morgenstern...which is +15 ATK over the Mace.
Most of the fights here went well enough...except those last 2 rooms where I should have been using Aura Blast instead of Heavenly Sword.
This fight went as well as it could have. My ID is only really useful for some early extra damage...but he gets smacked around too easily to be of much use beyond that.
If I had a 2 handed weapon (sword or axe) I could have made him flinch...but I don't think it would have been any faster really, since the early 2 handed weapons don't have much combo ability.
I was hoping the White Gravials would drop more White Steel than they did...
I stole an Ether from a Lizard Shaman, and also use some Indigo Steel to make Chain Mail, and a Sallet.
Most of the fight went OK enough...that one room with 4 Assassin Zombies could have been better, though.
My ID is operation distraction here. His only job is to keep Isaac's ID busy while I beat the living snot out of him.
Other than stealing the Devil's Vein at the start of the fight, it's a pretty straightforward beat down. When my ID was low on hearts, I had him guard...Isaac's ID still has a tendency to go after him.
ENEOMAOS MACHINE TOWER
I needed to level the Mage ID up here so it'd have enough Hearts for the Saint Germain fight.
I used Time Stop to easily get the Phlogiston from a Flame Demon. However, I should have also used Time Stop on those flying enemies that were wasting my time.
I make a Zaghnol shortly after my Mage learns Lightning Strike. I also make a Plate Mail from some White Steel, and some Field Armor from Red Steel shortly thereafter.
This fight went about as well as it could have. Saint Garmain's main attack is when he uses Time Advance, which I can nullify with Time Stop. He can also stop time, but I can cancel it with my own.
When he runs out of HP, he does Time Reverse to recover to 50%. I Time Stop as he's doing this so he only gets to recover 25% instead.
I tried using Lightning Strike on him, but he has a Magic Defense of 60, and my Mage ID only has a MAG stat of 42, which means a piddly 24 damage per Strike. Not worth the Heart cost IMO.
The Memorial Ticket back to Cordova Town saved a bunch of time. I put the Devil ID away since it seemed to have a tendency to die in that corridor with all the Dead Fencers.
I picked up the Damascus Steel before entering leaving Cordova Town to make a Burgonet.
I think I could have used my ID a little more efficiently here, although keeping him from dying is a decent chellenge in and of itself.
I should have also used the Mage ID for the pesky flying enemies.
The ID is just there for a passive STR bonus, and some Chain Attacks.
While Trevor has the White Aura, he cannot be made to flinch, so I have to prioritize dodging over attacking until it dissipates.
Once the Aura drops, I can use my ID to score some extra hits after my own attacks. Trevor's Magic Defense is too high to allow my ID to do any real damage with it's specials. Notice the last hit of my ID Chain attack does a lot more damage than anything else.
I had to split this into 2 segments due to all the Final Guards. They can choose to just sit there and defend and I can't do a damn thing about it.
I took all those Materials I had been gathering, and along with the Dark Crystal, Ether, Spirit of Fuji, and Ceemonial Tool I picked up in the Emperor's Throne room, managed to make a Chauve-souris - which is one of the most powerful weapons I can make (and has an awesome combo to boot).
Right after making it (next room) there's 2 Wights that need to be killed to unlock to door...you'll notice I pause and spin the camera as soon as I enter the room...this is to make sure the first one doesn't hide in the wall, or off to either side where I can't get to it.
I switched back to the Zaghnol for this fight since Dullahan doesn't flinch. My ID was worth a few extra hits every so often, but it's more improtant for it to be alive for the passive STR bonus.
This fight is mostly about dodging Dullahan's attacks, and dealing a couple hits whenever I can. I prefer when he does anything that makes him stand still for a moment afterwards, since I can get off a full combo + Chain attack.
The only thing I didn't like about this fight was that he didn't do the move he was charging up when he died eariler. He takes double damage while he's charging that.
Again, 2 segments...but this time for the sheer difficulty of speeding through some rooms.
I wound up taking 2 refills in save rooms here...both Hector and the ID get smacked around pretty bad in here.
Did I also mention how much I hate flying enemies?
This fight was a bitch until I figured out the secret. Isaac can't stop to block and summon if you always hit his backside. Chauve-souris is the best to use here, since it deals so many hits at once.
Thus, always attacking him in his rear arc forces him to fight alone the entire time. Plus with no summon animations, and no IDs to kill, this fight becomes rather short.
However, I can't use ID to attack during this fight - it has a good chance to throw him with it's stronger attacks. If Isaac is thrown, it's pretty much guaranteed that he'll summon an ID without any chance for me to interrupt him. Guard duty for the ID.
I think I could have used my ID for some extra damage here, but I also needed him alive for the STR bonus...so I didn't risk it.
I switched back to Zaghnol since Death doesn't flinch, and needed fast hits over strong ones.
Normally I don't screw up perfect guarding his mini-scythes, but I got one bad block and ended up reeling for it. I would have reset, but I hate having to re-do the Isaac fight every time Death annoys me.
The Boiling Ring was picked up for the sole purpose of defending against Death's Flare Bomb attack. That first hit always gets me...the camera is at a bad angle to try and determine exactly when I need to block the first hit. I managed to block the rest fine, though.
I do, however, regret using the Pork Bowl here since I didn't get hit at all after using it...and it would have saved me a lot of trouble for the Dracula fights.
His Magic Defense is around 100 or so, which makes my IDs specials practically worthless.
I need my ID alive after this fight, but I also need him attacking since he can actually deal out damage faster than Hector can. Chain attacks aren't as worthwhile here since they don't attack as fast as the ID normally does. Leaving him in Manual is quite effective, though.
When he was almost dead, I brought out the Fairy again to get her some levels (from 4 - 25). I needed the healing for the next fight and her HP got a nice boost.
My ID was operation distraction again...well - somewhat. The whole premise here is to just dodge everything I can and attack when I have a chance. My damage is pitiful here...My ID's passive STR bonus makes up for half of all my damage.
I had my ID defend the entire time, since it takes hits easily, and would have died quick. Specials weren't worth anything here either due to a high Magic Defense.
I was also switching to the Fairy ID every time he backed away from the platform so I could heal up. I went through all of her Hearts plus the one Potion I had left, and still finished only one hit from death.
I regret keeping the Battle ID when he backed off after the Fairy ID was out of Hearts...
My ID died because of it, but it wasn't a big deal since Dracula was almost dead. The Mage ID was brought out to grant some extra (passive) damage to finish him off.